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  • Charles Fortson, Jr.

Chow Time: Making dry beans perfect

By Guest Cooking Columnist Charles Fortson, Jr

Dry beans -- baby limas or black eye peas -- are an American staple food.  Coooked right, they make great side dishes, particularly with fried pork loin or chops.  They also can be meals in themselves.  Uncle Ray’s recipe turns any kind of dry beans into the perfect dish.


2 lbs. of your favorite dry beans

2 medium-size onions chopped

1 tsp. of salt

½ tsp. of pepper

½ tsp. of basil

1 tsp. of rosemary

1 lb. of your favorite smoked sausage

2 pieces of smoked turkey neck or your favorite smoked meat or ½ tsp. of liquid smoke

2 tbsp. of chopped garlic



1.       Fill eight-quart pot with hot water half way.

2.       Place beans in the pot, making sure they are covered by the hot water, and soak them for three hours.

3.       Combine smoked meat, salt, pepper, basil, rosemary, garlic and onions with beans. 

4.       With lid on cooking pot, bring the beans-meat-seasoning mix to a boil.

5.       Cook for three hours on reduced heat, stirring regularly.  Make sure water covers beans at all times, adding more as needed.

6.       After two hours, taste test and add salt and pepper as needed.


EDITOR’S NOTE:  Charles Fortson, Jr., is proprietor-chef at Uncle Ray’s across from Lake Lincoln State Park.  He makes lunches and dinners to take out or for table service, while also operating a convenience store and bait shop at his Sunset Road location.  Follow his cooking tips on Uncle Ray’s Facebook page or call 601-643-0174 to check on his daily specials.


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